Writing loglines is an essential skill for screenwriters, from early development through to the pitch. In this section, every week our panel reviews a few loglines posted to www.logline.it. Learn from the feedback and perfect your own loglining skills.
by The Judges
[box] “A young intern faces a double dilemma when he discovers medical fraud by a colleague and realises that the victim is his own despised father.”[/box]
The judges’ verdict:
Steven: “There is potential here but the scenario needs to be more dramatic. For example, that an experimental medical procedure is being trialed and the despised father is slated to be a test subject. For even greater dramatic potential, there could be a second patient – say, some chronically ill kid – who needs this treatment as well and there is not enough of the vital key drug for both of them”
The scenario needs to be more dramatic
James “This one reads like half a logline to me. One thing that I always come back to in loglines is the lack of goals given to the main character. In good stories the goal often changes around the mid-point of the script. This changed goal doesn’t need to be included. What does need to be included is his initial goal. Does he want to prove that it isn’t actually his father? Does he want to find a way to get his father off the hook? We don’t know and because we don’t know than this loglines doesn’t work. ”
What does need to be included is his initial goal
Dinosaur Train (Ep 8)
[box] “A lovable T-Rex has fun at the two legged Theropod Club with his friends, making his winged Pterosaur sister feel out of place at the meetings until she joyfully joins in.”[/box]
The judges’ verdict:
Karel: “What is the main goal here? Does the T-Rex want his sister to join the Club? But what are ‘the meetings’? Why is it important that she should join? Is she isolating? A character having fun doesn’t really promise me any interesting drama. Is this really what is going on? It reminds me of the dreadfully boring first act of Wolf Creek, where the characters were also ‘having fun’ for about 30mins.”
A character having fun doesn’t really promise me any interesting drama.
Steven: “There is no real story here. The sister must have more than just wings for the reader to feel anything for her. Is she fiesty? Freedom-loving? Artistic? Perhaps her flying ability has enabled her to see other lands that the others can only imagine? Secondly, why would she settle for “joining in” rather than, say, carving out her own hobby or flying her own way? Surely there is more dramatic potential in her ‘going it alone’ than just joining some boys’ club! Where is there any challenge in her simply being allowed in?”
There is no real story here
Phyllis: “Cute, but confusing. If this is a series it needs more detail to really engage. Dinosaur tales have been done to death so your spin needs to be incredibly entertaining. There’s an audience for jurassic stories, still – children (little boys especially) are totally fascinated by this world – so give them something fantastic. Being original with a world that’s 90 million years in the making is your challenge. But if you’re passionate enough about your story, you’ll do it.”
If you have an opinion on any of these synopses or the feedback from the judges, please share it with us in the comments below. Please keep the discussion constructive. Even if your first instinct may be subjective, try to give us as objective a reply as possible. The objective is to all (that includes us, judges) learn from the exercise.